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Empire and Communications [Paperback]

Harold A. Innis , Alexander John Watson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2007 Voyageur Classics (Book 4)

It's been said that without Harold A. Innis there could have been no Marshall McLuhan. Empire and Communications is one of Innis's most important contributions to the debate about how media influence the development of consciousness and societies. In this seminal text, he traces humanity's movement from the oral tradition of preliterate cultures to the electronic media of recent times. Along the way, he presents his own influential concepts of oral communication, time and space bias, and monopolies of knowledge.


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Empire and Communications + The Bias of Communication + Orality and Literacy: 30th Anniversary Edition
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Review

It's been said that without Harold A. Innis there could have been no Marshall McLuhan. Empire and Communications is one of Innis's most important contributions to the debate about how media influence the development of consciousness and societies. In this seminal text, he traces humanity's movement from the oral tradition of preliterate cultures to the electronic media of recent times. Along the way, he presents his own influential concepts of oral communication, time and space bias, and monopolies of knowledge.

About the Author

Alexander John Watson is the author of Marginal Man:The Dark Vision of Harold Innis and is the president and CEO of CARE Canada.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In a way this is a history of the entire world. Innis is relentless in his recounting of facts - it's impossible to absorb everything he writes. I might use this book as a reference for pretty much any period of history. This is not really exclusively about communications - it's not like McLuhan, who decided to pursue one small part of Innis's work - it's about empire just as much, and what that means, why they fail. The work doesn't really go outside of the Western experience of history with slight dips into China and India - Innis of course acknowledges this, acknowledges his own bias. In a way it is extremely hard to express Innis's ideas in any other way than how they are expressed - he deals in very very broad pictures, sums up extremely complicated ideas in a sentence. It is one way looking at and analyzing history, not the only way, but Innis does it very effectively.
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4.0 out of 5 stars provides an excellent historical basis... May 15 1998
By J. Tice
Format:Paperback
This book provides a wonderful examination of how emerging communication technologies impact the society that spawned them. Each major media advance (papyrus, parchment, paper, the printing press) causes major shifts in the social paradigms of the societies that adopt its use... definately worth the read. This edition has an afterword by Dr. David Godfrey regarding the impact of the electronic form.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars provides an excellent historical basis... May 15 1998
By J. Tice - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book provides a wonderful examination of how emerging communication technologies impact the society that spawned them. Each major media advance (papyrus, parchment, paper, the printing press) causes major shifts in the social paradigms of the societies that adopt its use... definately worth the read. This edition has an afterword by Dr. David Godfrey regarding the impact of the electronic form.
5.0 out of 5 stars Super book. March 9 2014
By Guy Till - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brilliant and almost insane research scholarship brought into a couple hundred pages of clear prose. A book of critical importance.
3.0 out of 5 stars Liked the Book Feb. 25 2014
By Daryl A. Daniels - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book I ordered from a masters degree class and it was a difficult read in the beginning, but it got more interesting and relavent towards the middle and at the end was easier to read. I think the author is very knowledgable but the over-scholarly writing was not easy to comprehend, but that is what professors want for a textbook.
5.0 out of 5 stars Irony: No Kindle version Jan. 13 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Brilliant book, a tough read but worth the effort. Stunningly prophetic about how media companies still don't get digital media and want to control information. Buy it, read it, ask (nicely at first) for a digital version to honor his life's work.
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